Companies worrying about the look and navigability of their Web sites may soon have to take another factor into account: how their site smells. Inc. recently lent its nose to the Web smelling game, announcing its latest contribution to new technology that will lets users sniff the ‘net.

Plano, Tex.-based used its software and hardware to send a series of scents from Sydney, Australia to a kiosk at its home office, according to a company statement. Using AromaJet’s Smell over IP (Internet Protocol) technology, a user can create and send a fragrance by mixing a set of 16 different ingredients, the company said. The company plans in the near future to allow users to combine 32 components.

Internet-enabled smell technology has sparked the interest of a number of vendors worldwide. In most cases, a company will combine its scent software with a device that creates and emits an aroma. Using the software, a user could select several elements in varying proportions, and the device would create the smell according to those instructions. The device, filled with a variety of aromatic elements, can concoct numerous smells for the end user.

Industry pundits look for Web sites and the entertainment segment to snag the technology first. The technology still has a long way to go; however, many companies hope it will add a new element to the multimedia experience.

Visitors to a Web site could receive a scent when clicking on a link or advertising banner. While playing a video game, a user might receive scents of a dank dungeon or wafts of a pine forest. Working with a perfume maker over the Internet, a consumer could design a custom fragrance. The customer could receive samples via the smell-emitting device and then order a bottle or two of the custom perfume.

A number of other companies also have attacked the Internet aroma market.

Trisenx Inc. also recently announced a partnership with fragrance specialist Mane Inc. on Internet-enabled scents and flavours. Savannah, Georgia-based Trisenx also made its SENXWare Scent Design Studio software free to users via download from the Web.

The company’s device currently has about 40 aromas stored in its database. There are plans to add more in the near future.

DigiScents Inc. developed the iSmell scent player device and scent cartridge earlier this year. The company takes a similar approach to AromaJet by mixing various materials in the cartridge, then delivering the fragrance via the iSmell device.

DigiScents attracted the likes of Procter & Gamble Co. and RealNetworks Inc. to its olfactory ways. Proctor & Gamble will work with DigiScents on Web-based scent research, and RealNetworks will include DigiScents’ ScentStream software in its media players.

The iSmell device and cartridge should arrive to end-users some time next year, according to a DigiScents spokesperson.

“The cartridge will probably last about as long as a printer cartridge,” the spokesperson said. “You can control the volume of the smell, turning it up, down or off. It is a very personal experience, with just the person in the area receiving the smell.”

Users already can use the DigiScents software to smell-enable their Web sites. The company hopes a number of scented ‘net destinations will be ready when their hardware starts shipping.

France T

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